America, Nation of Great Divide and Tolerance: ASAK 54th International Conference

Country: Korea

City: Seoul

Abstr. due: 15.04.2019

Dates: 20.09.19 — 21.09.19

Area Of Sciences: Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: The American Studies Association of Korea (ASAK)


The American Studies Association of Korea (ASAK) is pleased to announce an international conference on “America, Nation of Great Divide and Tolerance” to be held in Seoul, South Korea, from September 20 to 21, 2019.

Early in the last century, American playwright William Vaughn Moody dramatized the American theme of ‘East-West contrast’ in his play The Great Divide (1906). It revealed the distinct difference between a wild landscape in southern Arizona and a civilized town in Massachusetts, as well as the ‘divides’ at various levels, such as those among people, culture, customs, and social values inherent in the two regions. Starting as a nation of immigrants with diverse national and ethnic backgrounds, the United States had from birth an inexplicably heterogeneous identity that cannot be explained in simple terms. Accordingly, she has been exhibiting divides from the beginning in various fields and levels such as region, language, religion, economy, politics, culture, and related values. She has suffered and finally overcome the many conflicts that stem from these divides. The moments of history that have overcome each of the divides offer us a lesson, which is the virtue of ‘tolerance.’ The divides can be causes of disagreements and discord. But, on the other hand, they can be opportunities to lead to more productive agreements and consensus. In this respect, divide and tolerance are not entirely confrontational but can be complementary and cooperative. With the new millennium, the United States has been given a weightier responsibility and mission in an unprecedented and rapidly changing international order. At this point, the virtue of ‘tolerance’ is more in demand than ever, and this virtue is of greater value in redefining the relationship between the United States and the international community.

The 2019 ASAK conference will look into how the terms ‘divide’ and ‘tolerance’ have been redefined in the process of shaping the culture of the Unites States from various perspectives and dimensions: historical, cultural, social, political, and economical. In addition, we will situate the terms within the global and transnational context by tracing how they have been appropriated across the world in relation to America. Finally, and most importantly, this conference hopes to anticipate how the virtue of tolerance will be applied to redefining US domestic and international relations and what changes it will bring in the future.

Paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Ÿ   Race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality

Ÿ   Racism, xenophobia, and segregation

Ÿ   Immigration, citizenship, and globalization

Ÿ   Crossing borders vs. border walls

Ÿ   Imperialism, exceptionalism, expansionism, and regionalism

Ÿ   Urbanization, suburbanization, and gentrification

Ÿ   Nation and nationality

Ÿ   Multiculturalism, transculturalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism

Ÿ   Memory, identity, and representation

Ÿ   Democracy and its discontents

Ÿ   Puritanism, Manifest Destiny, American Dream

Ÿ   Political correctness and social justice

Ÿ   Wars, disasters, and crimes

Ÿ   History and historiography

Ÿ   Religion and ethics

Ÿ   Activism and protests

Ÿ   Economy and neoliberalism

Ÿ   Media cultures of television, cinema, theater, and SNS

Ÿ   Fashion and cuisines

Ÿ   Civil rights movements and human rights movements

Ÿ   Nature and the environment

Conference Web-Site: